The demands in the automobile market are constantly changing due to economic and environmental concerns. One of the most significant changes my sales team observed was the rise of the demand for hybrid vehicles. Over the last decade, the U.S. experienced a soaring rise in the price of gasoline which put a heavy burden on many drivers. Besides the gasoline price, there are also concerns about global warming and harmful chemical emissions from cars. In order to tackle these two economic and environmental crisises, the technology behind hybrid vehicle is constantly improving and evolving. In the current market, most of the hybrid vehicles available have great gas mileage averaging about 40 miles per gallon of gasoline(MPG) as well as idle stop technology, which allows drivers to enjoy utilities without running the engine and thus reduces harmful chemical emission.
The Honda Insight is one of the best choices in the hybrid vehicle market. The Insight was the first hybrid vehicle introduced to the U.S. automobile market back in 1999 and it had been improved significantly during the last 13 years. The Insight is also rated as the most affordable hybrid vehicle because it is less expensive than any other competitors of comparably trim level within the market.
The original 2000 Insight model is a small two-seated three-door hatchback vehicle that offers exceptional gas mileage averaging more than 50 MPG. This model was rated the most gas efficient Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) certified gasoline-fueled vehicle ever. Honda introduced the second generation of the Insight in 2009 with significant changes over its predecessor. The new Insight is bigger than the original, which now sits five people instead of two and it is equipped with a 15.9 cubic feet cargo space; 31.5 cubic feet with the back seat rolled down for bigger luggage. Since the size of the vehicle has increased, the vehicle is now equipped with the bigger Hybrid 1.3 liter i-VTEC engine with Integrated Motor Assist(IMA) electric motor, which offers a maximum of 98 horsepower and idle stop feature. One drawback of the new Insight is the gas mileage dropped to averaging 40 MPG, but it is still excellent compared to conventional vehicles.
Let’s take a look at what is on the dashboard of the new Honda Insight. One of the unique feature in this vehicle is the ECO system, which automatically reduces the usage of unnecessary electronic devices to maximize the battery life. The ECO system display within the speedometer rates the driver’s driving behavior ranging from one to five leafs after each trip, with slower acceleration and less sudden stops usually resulting in a higher ECO score. A stereo system or navigation display maybe installed on the center of the dashboard depending on the trim levels of the vehicle, which are LX, EX, and EX with navigation. Every trim level comes equipped with features such as heater and air-conditioning, auxiliary jack or USB, and radio, which are very useful when driving and keeping passengers entertained.
When compared to other hybrid vehicles such as the Toyota Prius, Ford Fusion, and the Civic hybrid from the same Honda family, the Insight is the least expensive. Most of the vehicles listed above may cost as much as $30,000 plus tax and fees if fully equipped, while the manufacturer’s suggested retail price of a 2012 Insight EX model with automatic transmission and navigation is $23,540 plus tax and fees; the difference is clear. According to various vehicle websites, the residual value percentage of the Honda Insight after 36 months is 52% and 38% after 60 months, which is very important information because it means car owner can expect to sell the Insight later on with at a higher resale price, or lease the brand new Insight model from dealerships with lower monthly rate.
With the ever increasing price of gasoline, it may be a good time to consider switching to a hybrid vehicle and the Honda Insight, both the new and the used model, are the best choice in terms of value. If anybody is interested in buying a hybrid vehicle, put the Honda Insight on your shopping list and test drive one today.